What is Remoteboot?
Remoteboot is a hardware remote management console which allows you to monitor the current power state and activity of a desktop computer and to physically turn the computer on or off via a web interface from anywhere.
Remoteboot featured on the EEVblog!
Remoteboot allows for the computer to remain accessible from the internet while it is off by enabling it to be turned on remotely. After it has been turned on, traditional software packages such as Teamviewer, VNC or SSH can be used to access programs and files on the computer.
By allowing your computer to be off when it would normally stay on saves you 438 kilowatt hours, about half the amount a clothes drier uses in one year and generates 420 kilograms of carbon dioxide to produce (assuming 50w idle power).
Remoteboot reduces the idle power consumption of your computer by 99%
Compared to Wake On Lan
Wake on Lan (WOL) is another technology which enables a computer to wake up from shutdown, however, Remoteboot has many practical advantages over WOL.
- Remoteboot does not require router support, while WOL requires router support of WOL forwarding for access via the Internet. Unfortunately, this feature is lacking in most consumer routers and only ubiquitous in enterprise routers.
- Remoteboot supports all desktop computers, while WOL requires motherboard support, which can vary depending on manufacturer and isn't available on all boards.
- Remoteboot connects via WiFi, while WOL requires ethernet, which many desktop computers do not use.
- Remoteboot is a completely separate device which cannot be affected by the computer. But WOL is often unreliable in the event that the power is cycled, remote access software fails, the computer crashes or encounters a hard shutdown.
- Remoteboot can be accessed using just a web browser, on desktops, laptops, tablets or mobile phones, while WOL requires specialised software to send requests.
Need to start your computer? Just press the power button on the web interface!
Computer crashed? Just press the reset button on the web interface!
All Remoteboot devices come with access to the Remoteboot Cloud, providing a secure central location for you to control all your devices.
It is not required for any part of the functionality of the device but allows you to manage multiple devices without signing in and out of each one as well as provide a dynamic DNS service.
The Remoteboot Cloud will be maintained for at least 3 years.
Remoteboot will include a software feature which is off by default, where if the activity LED has not been on for a user configurable amount of time, Remoteboot will reset the computer. This feature is designed to make a locked up computer automatically reboot and never be stuck in a locked up state.
Remoteboot can be used as a 3.3v serial console to monitor the serial lines of embedded devices or servers.
How does Remoteboot work?
Remoteboot is a separate hardware device connected to your computer which contains a wifi chipset and a processor. It runs a web server which allows configuration of the device as well as the control and monitoring of your computer via the Remoteboot Cloud account on your device or the web interface.
Remoteboot is not compatible with laptop computers, all in ones or apple iMacs as it requires standard power and reset interfaces.
- Chipset: ESP8266 12-E
- Two digital switching outputs (for power and reset buttons)
- Two digital protected inputs (for power and activity LEDs)
- 3 extra general purpose inputs/outputs broken out
All components required to connect Remoteboot to a desktop computer are included, installation and configuration is required.
For those of you who want to tinker, Remoteboot is built upon a standard ESP8266 12-E WiFi module, Arduino IDE and the Espressif SDK, allowing you to modify the software as you see fit.
History of Remoteboot
Risks and challenges
A significant portion of the software has been developed and but many pieces need to be polished and finished off.
Hardware development is complete with the current prototype demonstrating all the features in the final product.
The production of the board assemblies have already been negotiated and the pricing confirmed. A prototyping run will be done to confirm the quality and designs. I have worked with manufacturers to produce large volumes (5000pc) of hardware electronic devices before on kickstarter with on time delivery. Therefore the risk of production issues will be minimal.
The boards will be sent in padded envelopes via China Post. This is the most cost efficient way of distributing them. However, it is possible for some packets to not arrive to its destination. If there is a lost or damaged packet, I will be happy to resend them.
- (28 days)